The counter-narcotics operation targeting the militant extremist group in Afghanistan was hushed until today, when a DEA official confirmed the contents of a field intelligence report obtained byABC News but did not explain why a successful “superlab” takedown was not officially announced.
DEA spokesman Steven Bell broke down the components of the haul as 6.4 tons of heroin base and 12.5 tons of morphine base along with 134 kilograms of opium, 129 kilograms of crystal heroin and 12 kilograms of hashish from the “superlab” located in Farah near the country’s border with Iran.
Taking place Oct. 17, the raid was a joint mission involving the DEA, American Special Forces and specially trained Afghani officers.
The conservative estimated street value the seizure is about $60 million and according to Steven Bell: “This drug seizure alone prevented not only a massive amount of heroin hitting the streets throughout the world but also denied the Taliban money that would have been used to fund insurgent activities in and around the region,” the DEA spokesman told ABC News yesterday.
Afghanistan remains the world’s foremost supplier of heroin and the illicit drug trade remains the main source of funding for their insurgency. The October operation targeted the Hadimama drug trafficking network, led by Abdul Rahman, “a suspected Taliban commander,” and Haji Janan, “a suspected Taliban facilitator and narco-trafficker.”
According to DEA sources the two men “were believed to be producing heroin in these labs to fund their insurgent activities”.